My wife and I (American citizens) married in Lagos Nigeria in 2004. We were worried that our marriage certificate might not be accepted everywhere so we married again in California in 2005. However, it appears that our wedding license was never recorded and no record can be found. We now live in Utah. Although we have been married several years, we cannot produce a wedding certificate. Is it possible to obtain a "delayed marriage certificate" from Utah backdated to our actual wedding date?
State/Country relating to question: Utah
I've checked with the Mariposa (CA)County Clerk and was told that California does have such a process but must be filed in the county where I reside (Summit County Utah). Summit County Clerk says that I must marry in Utah and the it cannot be backdated to the original wedding date.
Thank you for using JustAnswer. I am researching your issue and will respond shortly.
You could not do this without a court order to do it. A marriage certificate is a binding legal document, and when it is signed is the operative date for the document. It's also generally attested to by a clerk or notary, and they have to affix the current date to it.
A court decree recognizing a relationship as a marriage is the same as getting married, but "the only advantage of a common law marriage is to give formal recognition to marriages informally entered into in the past." Whyte v. Blair, 885 P2d 791 (Utah 1994). And that's typically in the situation where one of the parties has died or is no longer able to consent to marriage (through some mental defect or mental deterioration). If there is no reason to "backdate" the marriage, it is MUCH cheaper, simpler and faster just to get married.
Hope that clears things up a bit. If you have any other questions, please let me know. If not, and you have not yet, please rate my answer. Please note that I don't get any credit for my answer unless and until you rate it a 3, 4, 5 (good or better). Thank you, and good luck to you!
Thanks Scotty. This put me on the right path, I think.
Licensed Texas General Practice Attorney
Scotty, thanks for your email, but I believe I did rate your service.
Yes you did. Thank you, and again, good luck to you!
DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.
The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).